Prominent Australian business leaders confirmed for NFF Congress


Business leaders Anthony Pratt and Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest have been confirmed as keynote speakers at the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) 2016 Congress to be held in Canberra on 26 and 27 October.

Mr Pratt and Mr Forrest will lead a high calibre speaker and event line-up over the course of the two days which will focus on embracing the digital age in agriculture to grow the rural sector.  Coles Managing Director, John Durkan, will also address delegates on Day One of the event.

NFF President, Brent Finlay, said the program would take a critical look at how technology and innovation can and should be used to enhance agricultural production to meet burgeoning demand for Australian food and fibre across the globe.

“We have a premium, safe and clean product and know that as wealth in key markets increases so too does demand for what we grow here in Australia,” Mr Finlay said.

“However, given the great strides in technology and innovation that have been made there is enormous potential for this to be better embraced by industry to improve efficiencies, sustainability and traceability.

“Our congress will bring together leaders in the business, political and technological spheres to discuss how each of these areas align to advance farming in the context of growing demand for our produce and intensified challenges like climate change.”

Confirmed sessions include a panel discussion on telecommunications in the bush and innovation to manage climate change as well as political panels featuring key Federal MPs.  Other key topics will include:

  • Digital Innovation: robotic technology, precision agriculture, digital disruption, traceability, agriculture in 2030.
  • Environmental issues: the link between emissions efficiency and productivity, innovation reducing the agriculture carbon footprint, and climate forecasting.
  • Economic impacts: enhancing competitiveness; big data; trends impacting on global supply and demand; opportunities for positioning the industry; increasing profitability at the farm gate.
  • Asia Pacific: the Australian brand, market opportunities and shared learnings.
  • National Policy:  to support a strong and sustainable future.
  • Consumer Perceptions and Understanding.
  • Australian agriculture’s current and intended future global position:  from the perspective of farmers, industry and government.
  • Technological advancements, software and applications that support farming.

Other speakers will include Science Director of CSIRO Agriculture, Dr Michael Robertson, Assistant Director of Climate Information Services at the Bureau of Meteorology, Neil Plummer, Chief Executive Officer of SwarmFarm Robotics, Andrew Bate and Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Professor Salah Sukkarieh.

“Innovation is on the national agenda and it is most certainly a priority of the agriculture industry given its capacity to help make us even better at producing food and fibre,” Mr Finlay said.
“I invite anyone with an interest in this flourishing sector to secure tickets at early bird rates while available and being part of this important discussion.”

For registration details and further information go to